POISSANCE D'AMOURSMystics, monks and minstrels in 13th-century Brabant
Graindelavoix Björn Schmelzer, director
Patrizia Hardt Silvie MoorsYves Van Handenhove Lieven GouwyPaul De Troyer Thomas VanledeBart Meynckens Björn Schmelzer, voicesJan Van Outryve, guiterne & luteThomas Baeté, fiddleFloris De Rycker, lute & guiterne
Playing time: 77'08Recorded at the Dominican Church of Leuven(Belgium), in January 2008Engineered and produced by Manuel MohinoExecutive producer: Carlos CésterArt direction: Valentín Iglesias (00:03:00)Booklet essay: Björn SchmelzerEnglish Français Nederlands Deutsch Español
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Mystics, monks and minstrels in 13th-century Brabant
Vocal and instrumental pieces byHildegard von Bingen Goswin de BossutHadewijch van BrabantHenri III de BrabantTassinCarasaus Gillebert de BernevillePerrin d’Angicourt Jehan Erart et alIncludes plainchant from the Villers andNazareth Abbeys
About this CD
Little attention has been given on record so far to the music and writings emanating from the flourishing economic and cultural environs of 13th-century Brabant but it is from the remarkable outpouring associated with this medieval duchy – covering the areas of Brussels, Antwerp and the present day Belgian provinces of Vlaams and Walloon Brabant as well as Noord-Brabant in The Netherlands – that Björn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix have created their third recording for Glossa. In Caput (GCD P32101) and Joye (GCD P32102) Schmelzer and his Antwerp-based ensemble explored in the late medieval music of Johannes Ockeghem and Gilles Binchois undercurrents that illuminate our own times. What preoccupies Graindelavoix in early music is the bond between notation and what eludes it: the higher consciousness and savoir-faire that the performer brings to a piece (ornamentation, improvisation, gestures...). An integral part of this new project – uniting three broad groups active in Brabant, mystics, monks and minstrels – is where it was recorded: the Dominican Church in Leuven, where Schmelzer considers much of this music may have been performed. Constructed following the model of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, the church retains an acoustic unchanged by the passing of time and contributes to a new CD which provides a fascinating musical account of an important region of Europe inthe 13th century.
In what is set to be a career-defining opportunity for Graindelavoix, Glossa’s Antwerp-based ensemble, along with its director Björn Schmelzer, is joining forces with choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her company Rosas for a new music and dance production Cesena which will have its world première performance at this year’s Festival d’Avignon in France. On July 16 the medieval Cour d’honneur of the Palais des Papes – the meeting point of the Old and New Papal Palaces – will provide the setting at the time of 4.30am for an interpretation in sound and movement of the rhythmically and harmonically complex 14th century musical repertory known as the Ars subtilior (strongly associated with the Papal Court in Avignon). [read more...]
For the ensemble Graindelavoix’s fifth recording for Glossa, Cecus, Björn Schmelzer has gathered together musicians from Spain, Estonia, the UK, France and Belgium to complete a triptych of recordings presenting an alternative view of performance practice from across a century of Franco-Flemish polyphony. After Joye and La Magdalene, Cecus focuses on music by Alexander Agricola and his contemporaries and concerns itself with music associated with blind players (notably two fiddlers from Bruges) and memory and commemoration (laments on the deaths of Agricola and Johannes Ockeghem) coming from the chapel of Philippe le Beau and Juana of Castile. [read more...]
With only their third CD Björn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix have just secured two of the awards at this year’s Klara-Muziekprijzen ceremony, held at the start of November in the group’s native Belgium.
Poissance d’amours – released by Glossa – was selected by the awards jury of the classical music radio station Klara for the best Flemish production of the year and also by the station’s listeners for the Public prize for 2008.[read more...]
“Making these old, broken stones sing is a wonderful experience”
Following Caput and Joye you are now turning to another area of the medieval musical world. What has inspired you to consider 13th-century Brabant?
After trying to show two important 15th-century composers in a different musical light, I thought it would be interesting to do a programme which is more geographical yet at the same time more “virtual”: one based only on musical remnants, traces and ruins. In this way we might try and create the sound world of an entire region: rather than producing portraits one would be able to paint full landscapes of scenes hitherto lost and in need of being invented anew. [read more...]